History & Culture

History & Culture

Dhansak: A Fusion of Persian and Gujarati Cuisines Found Favour with the Britishers

Food historian Lizzie Collingham writes in her book Curry, “In the seventh and eighth centuries, the fire-worshipping Zoroastrians had fled the Arab invasion of Persia and settled along the west coast of India. The Paris as they are known adapted to their new surroundings adopting many sub continental habits. When the Europeans began to arrive, they […]

A Tour into the Fearsome, Doomed World of the Freemantle Prison

The Freemantle Prison is the only World Heritage listed building in Western Australia. Built in the 1850’s by the prisoners themselves, it was used as a barracks for convicts shipped from England and Ireland. It was the state’s prime maximum-security prison till it was decommissioned. Today, it is one of the largest surviving prisons in […]

Do the Muslims of Norway Pose Cultural Threat to Norwegian Identity?

Norway is a country which claims to protect and promote human rights at home and abroad. However, within the deeper layers of Norwegian society, to some extent, hidden racism seem to be ingrained. It’s targeted towards refugees and migrants, particularly against the Muslims creating hindrance in their cultural integration into the mainstream of the Norwegian […]

To Urdu, with Love from Allahabad

Urdu has been an integral part of Allahabad’s vernacular heritage. The Ganga-Jamuni tahzeeb (culture) gets its name from the city of two rivers, Ganga and Yamuna, where these confluence as Triveni Sangam. Sehar talked to various well-known people of the city. She tells us about the love for Urdu, as stated by the respondents, in […]

Holi: Unifying the Electoral Colours of Politics, Ribaldry and its Spread in the West

With the trends and results of Assembly polls in five states in India, it’s celebration time for the winning parties and candidates in the largest democracy of the world. It’s also about the bawdy and ribald nature of the spring festival. And lastly, Arindam talks about the popularity and acceptance by Americans and others in […]

The Flickering Diyas

Tripti retells the Ramayana from Sita’s point of view. Here’s Sita’s agony that was perhaps never told in a patriarchal epic, as the special feature on International Women’s Day, exclusively for Different Truths. The flickering diyas (oil lamps) reminded her of her wandering hopes. She glanced at him. He was looking serene as he watched the lights that […]

Milestones of a Journey from Feb 1909, near the Statue of Liberty, to IWD 2017

In Copenhagen, 1910, at the Second International Conference of Working Women, German activist Clara Zetkin raised a vote, supported by women from 17 nations, to organise an International Working Women’s Day. In 1912, nine years after “Give me your tired, your poor…” was engraved on the pedestal plaque of the Statue of Liberty, after poor women desperate to earn […]

How Biriyani Travelled from the Barracks to the Royal Kitchens!

Many centuries were spanned by the Biryani in its evolution from a dish for battling troops to a dish fit for the kings, it has been influenced by the gastronomic, cultural and religious differences of the regions. It’s now an all-India favourite. Biryani was savoured by the Nizams of Hyderabad and the Nawabs of Lucknow along with the Delhi […]

Our Yummilicious Ice Cream Dates Back to the 5th Century BC

Lily forages the history to unravel the origin of ice cream. The granddad of modern medicine Hippocrates advocated eating ice to his Ancient Greek patients as “it livens the life juices and increases wellbeing.” During the 5th century BC, Greeks ate snow blended with honey and nuts, in Athens. In 400 BC, the Persians served their royalty […]

Musings on Martyrdom: Ibaadat sey Shahdat!

The Cellular Jail, in Port Blair, completed in 1906, is a National Memorial and a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people. Many today would be proud to know that it was in these infamous “cells” great sons of India preferred to perish unknown and unsung, to court a ghastlier form of slow death in fighting for […]